Teacher Education: The Key That Opens Many Doors

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Charanne Elliott TeachingWhen students arrive at college, life often appears to be a row of doors just waiting to be opened. Those students have about four years to select the door they believe is God’s first choice for them.

Maranatha Teacher Education Department Chair William Licht says his job is to help give them the keys to as many doors as possible.

“There are a lot of positives about Maranatha’s education program,” Licht said, “Our faculty is one. Our faculty is outstanding. Certification is certainly one. It’s a key that can unlock many doors for students.”

Maranatha graduates teach in Christian schools, public schools, and colleges. They teach in rural, urban, and suburban settings. They teach average students, advanced students, and special education students. They teach missionary kids or homeschool their own children. They teach in the U.S. and abroad.

Certification: A Key Ingredient

Maranatha’s education graduates are everywhere, in large part because the College’s regional accreditation has allowed those graduates to earn state certification. Certification can help lead to a rewarding career and ministry.

Sierra Steuerwald TeachingThe Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently reapproved Maranatha to continue to certify its graduates for state teaching licenses. The College has been graduating certified teachers since 1994, opening potential career doors for those graduates in public, private, and Christian education. Unaccredited or nationally accredited colleges cannot grant Wisconsin teaching certificates to their
graduates. Those who graduate from a regionally accredited college like Maranatha, however, enjoy the benefits of reciprocity agreements that will allow those teachers to gain certification in most states.

“A Wisconsin license transfers easily throughout most of the country,” Licht said.

A Popular Program, for Good Reason

College statistics indicate that 28 percent of Maranatha students were pursuing education-related majors during the 2010-11 school year, easily the largest percentage of any of the College’s seven academic departments.

Levi Kolwinska Conducting“Historically, this has been one of our strongest academic programs,” Licht said. “We have been blessed to get kids … who grow up with a burden for education.”

Why do Maranatha students find the Teacher Education program so attractive?

For many, this choice reflects the influence of Christian teachers who were inspirational mentors and guiding influences for those future teachers. Others are seeking an avenue to effectively minister to young people. Those who enjoy the challenge of learning may be looking forward to postgraduate study and someday teaching in a college of university. Some students simply see education as a practical career option, especially when graduating with a regionally accredited degree and state teacher certification.

Christian Education:Still a Popular Destination

Although Maranatha graduates can teach in any type of school, most continue to pursue careers as Christian school educators.

A study of Maranatha’s Teacher Education graduates between 1999 and 2009 revealed that 65 percent found their first teaching job in a Christian school.

“Our heart is still for Christian education; there’s no doubt about that,” Licht said. “We are not trying to push people into (public education) either. I just like the fact that, with certification, both doors are open.”

We talked to Maranatha graduates who have walked through different educational doors and found God working in exciting ways in all of their lives. You can read their stories here.

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